The program that allowed the suspension of contracts and the reduction of working hours and salaries, closed last Wednesday (25), provides rights for the coming months to employees who have had a change in their work regime.
Employees have tenure for a period equivalent to that of suspension of contract or reduction of working hours and, in case of dismissal during this period, they receive up to 100% of the salaries that the boss would have to pay in the period.
The legislation that created the program provides for payment in case of unfair dismissal. See how much the employee has to receive, in addition to the traditional severance pay:
– 50% of the salary to which the employee would be entitled during the employment guarantee period, if he/she has adhered to an agreement to reduce the working hours and salary equal to or greater than 25% and less than 50%;
– 70% of the salary to which the employee would be entitled in the period of provisional guarantee of employment, if he/she has adhered to an agreement to reduce the working hours and salary equal to or greater than 50% and less than 70%;
– 100% of the salary to which the employee would be entitled during the period of temporary employment guarantee, in the event of a reduction in working hours and salary in a percentage equal to or greater than 70% or of temporary suspension of the employment contract.
According to labor lawyer Poliana Banqueri, from the Peixoto & Cury Advogados law firm, the legislation is clear about the right of the employee. “The worker who had contract suspension or workload reduction is entitled to a guarantee of employment during the suspension and reduction, plus an equal period, after the end of this change. If the company decides to dismiss without just cause, it must pay a compensation of varying from 25 to 100% of the salaries of the missing period, depending on the criteria used”, he explains.
According to Banqueri, the recommendation for the worker, in case he or she does not receive the amounts due, is always to question the company so that the opportunity for correction is given without judicializing the case. However, if the problem is not remedied, the recommendation is to seek justice or the union, explains the lawyer.
End of special regime
The employment contracts that were included in the program that allowed the suspension of employment or the reduction of wages and hours were all reinstated last Thursday (26). There were 23,391,789 agreements between employers and employees since the beginning of the action, on April 1, 2020.
The program ended in December, with the end of the state of public calamity. After the country entered a new wave of the pandemic in the first months of the year and pressure from businessmen, President Jair Bolsonaro reissued the program for another four months at the end of April.
The initiative that sought to avoid layoffs consisted in the payment by the government of part or all of the worker’s salary through the BEm (emergency benefit), in the limit of R$1,911.84 per month. The calculation was based on the amount that the worker would receive from the INSS (National Social Security Institute) in the form of unemployment insurance, if he were fired.
The initiative is different from emergency aid, which is mainly aimed at informal workers and low-income families.
The reduction of working hours and salaries prevailed over the suspension of contracts, which was stronger only in the most acute moments of the pandemic, as in the beginning of the program. In the last four months, the services sector accounted for about half of the agreements, ahead of areas such as industry and construction. In this sector are establishments such as bars and restaurants, which only returned to work without restrictions this month in São Paulo, for example.
Another predominant feature in the agreements was the greater participation of women, who accounted for 53% of suspensions and reductions.